Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Marx would be proud...

I stole this from University of California, Berkley Blog.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sad, and reflecting musing that I forgot I wrote a while ago.

I wrote this small piece of writing in response to a report that a man had killed himself and his family, on Oct 6, 2008. This was a tragedy. This unfortunately shows a durkheimian school of thought. 


 Durkheim argues that modern society is always prone to anomie, but it is only in times of social and economic crisis does it come to the forefront.  For example, A man which killed himself and his family because of the pressures of the economy and recession. This shows anomie taking form in society. This example which unfortunately is true is also proof of Durkheim’s ideas of Anomic Suicide. Like in our recession, people in our society in general have been put in a situation in which old norms do not apply, and new norms have not yet developed. Durkheim was a genius. 

Anomie - state of normlessness, or lack of norms.

Norms - the do’s and don’ts of society, human conduct, and social interaction.  Rules, Standards, laws, regulations, customs and traditions.

On a personal note, politics aside, we as humans should do everything in our power to help our fellow man in need. I can understand if the man doesn't seek help, but if he did, we should do everything we can. This is senseless and very sad.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Durkheim 2008/Obama : Collective Effervescence, Individuality, and cycles.

Collective Effervescence, Individuality, and cycles.

While reading and thinking about Durkheim, and his views on what he calls Collective Effervescence, I was thinking about how you could use this theory and apply it to the 2008 election with Barack Obama.  

 This theory states that society can have great moments in history where we can have a collective exaltation which can have a great change in our society. This is sorta arguing that Obama has been exalted to God Status(be careful not to get to literal). But, while that sounds ridiculous, just look at the Obamania and the Obama obsessed media. Also, if you think about the fact that there are Americans that don't believe in god(like Myself) then this accounts for the Obama detractors. Although I do support Obama, I don't worship him and neither does the Obama manics, I was just exaggerating.

Now Individualism...

Individualism is a byproduct of society, because without knowing of society, then the individual does not know he is an individual, you must have other individuals to compare too and relate to in order to understand and appreciate your own individuality. 

And Individuality is also formed by using others as your examples of what not to do and what to do, which creates a unique person because each situation in which you see or use an individual to express your own self is unique and different. And because other people are using you for their examples then you can say that no one individual can create, control, or even greatly influence society. Look at a transcendental person like Obama. He may be able to sway millions, but remember that those millions were not swayed by him as much as the millions that Obama was influenced by in his life. Society is in fact a great circle that continuously feeds off itself and renews itself.  

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

X-MAS, Family, and waiting.

Of course the holidays. Of course the family. But the real reason I wont be blogging as much is, im waiting for my new dorm room. Jan 11. I get it and the free high speed internet it so nicely provides. See ya soon.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

And now Durkheim.

I guess I must preface with the fact that I am new to Sociology. These posts usually come after I read a new chapter in my big new shiny Sociology book called Sociological Theory by George Ritzer 2008. The first chapter was on the logical shortened history of Sociology. The second Karl Marx, and now Durkheim(3).

So Durkheim. All I can say at this moment is "Brilliant."
He is. He basically founded the whole science. Thanks.

Now, what I think about his ideas. He claims that the division of labor actually brings society closer together through specialization, or interdependence. As we lead more independent and specialized lives we reduce our ability to provide for ourselves. Suddenly, through division and specialization we get dependence and interdependence. AMAZING!
I realize why I love sociology. Its just simply the most intricate and beautiful sciences out there(IMHO). The world will find a way to maintain balance as does society. 

He also argues that this is only possible because of the expansion of the human race (population growth) or as he coined it Dynamic Density. 

Durkheim was ahead of his time. You know how we all watch and wonder how horrible things can happen and we are not willing or unable to understand them. Think back to OJ Simpson case or Scott Peterson.  
Durkheim argues(I'm paraphrasing here) that we do not react emotionally to crimes because there is a weak common morality. Another point he makes is that crime is a necessary and vital part of society. We need criminals in order to purge the social conscience and flood our common problems on easy targets. This makes sense to me because I personally don't know any person who looks at OJ Simpson as a good person. 

The more I learn and read the more I'm sure I chose the right field of study for me. I feel like I have been a closet Sociologist my whole life. Although, I'm sure everyone else does on some level too with respect to their fields. Every human on some level is a sociologist, we are social creatures. There is a reason that we fear solitary confinement. There is a reason we need friends and families. We are not loners and we don't naturally want to be alone. I believe that's a reason Durkheim spent so much time on suicide.

Anyway, my musing is almost over. I do want to say though that this blog is not only a tool that I use to provide myself with a chance to project my views, but also reflect my views back on to myself. I have a need and want to understand myself and my life. This is one more reason I feel like Sociology is right for me, because I feel that social aspects of life are the most important aspects. Most people, I feel, and this is not scientific(which goes against Durkheim's views on empiricism) do not think about math or English and say to themselves, " That's why this turned out the way it did" or "Now I understand why and what my life is what it is".  With Sociology, you can, and I have begun.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Alienation, Office Depot, Capitalism, Corporations, THE ECONOMY........ohh my.

I have worked at Office Depot for 5 or so years now. Studying Marx has really given me insight into my own place in the capital world. I know very well why Marx was opposed to Capitalism, I believe the biggest reason for him was Alienation. I feel like I am reduced to how much work I get done, and how many things I can sell. I get little to any real humanity reflected back to me at work. I have to follow "Programs and Standard Operating Procedures" which reduce me to a trained Monkey. I have to push products and sell things I don't believe people need.
Why do I do this?
I have to have it to survive just like anyone else. I feel like a little piece of me dies off everytime I sell overpriced and unessential products and services. I know one thing, the economy doesnt like me because I would tell people to save their money and they dont need these things. Sometimes you do need things, but you should decide If you want it by yourself. I shouldn't have to push it on you. :( minus one for capitalism today. Plus one for socialism. I still do believe in the capitalist structure as being the most sound, but Hyper-Capitalism is dangerous and unethical.
But then again? Ethics.
Another danger is that a person can have ethics, but a corporation gives people something to shield their humanity with and become greedy and unethical. Maybe, Capitalism minus 2.

You know I have always had a feeling inside me that I didnt know how to interpret. It was this feeling that things in the human world( which is the world in which we control) is controlled. Go figure! Things like the Economy. I always had this feeling that the economy was controlled like a puppet on strings. It is. The economy is the easiest way to control humanity without using military force. People do not attack "the economy". If your government is bad you will revolt, if the economy is bad, you "accept it", the economy is not a human being, therefore it is hard to fight against it.

The Engine of Human History

Satisfy the need.
We labor to furfill our needs, the labor transforms our needs, which leads to new forms of labor, which produce more needs, which we labor to fill...

Amazing, you could say we produce and expand to produce and expand. Life is of course, but only what we make of it.

I find it so fasinating that we can create huge societies just by furfilling basic human needs. Amazing. Where do these musings come from? Surprisingly enough, its Karl Marx.
Yes I said it, Karl Marx, If you seperate the work of the man from the image we have associated with him you will find a rather intelligent and surprising dialogue. I am enjoying some of it as a write.